Holistic Healing Careers: Salary and Job Facts

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in holistic healing. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and education requirements. Schools offering Complementary & Alternative Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are the Career Options in Holistic Healing?

Professionals in the field of holistic healing believe that an individual's health depends not only on physical well-being, but their environment, emotions and spirituality. Some job possibilities in this field include dietitians/nutritionists, massage therapists, and yoga instructors. As a dietitian or nutritionist, you will work with individuals to analyze what they are eating and how they are nurturing their bodies with food. You may help them develop meal plans and track their progress. You could also work as a massage therapist, which involves providing massage and bodywork treatments to clients who need relaxation or are in pain. Another possibility is a job as a yoga instructor. Yoga instructors lead groups in yoga classes. They may focus on the exercise principles of yoga, as well as the philosophy. The following chart provides an overview of career expectations for some holistic healers.

Dietitians, nutritionists Massage therapists Yoga instructors
Degree RequiredBachelor's Certification Certification optional
Education Field of StudyHuman nutritionMassage therapy in specific modalityYoga, fitness
Training RequiredNutrition coursework, licensure training500 hours of study and training 200 hours of training
Licensure Required State licensure State licensure Yoga Alliance teaching credentials
Job Growth (2014-2024)16%* 22%* 8% (fitness trainers and instructors)*
Median Salary (2015) $57,910*$38,040*$36,160 (fitness trainers and instructors)*

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Holistic Healing Careers Can I Find?

Holistic healing careers include any healthcare position that promotes a total state of well-being in every aspect of life. Holistic health practitioners encourage a healthy, low-stress lifestyle in order to prevent disease and help create balance in the lives of their patients or clients. If you are seeking a career in this field, you might consider studying acupuncture, massage therapy, nutrition or yoga.

If you study acupuncture, you can learn how to place sterilized needles on a person's body in order to treat health ailments. Massage therapists offer related services; they apply pressure to the body's muscle groups in order to promote relaxation and decrease pain. There are over 80 specialized massage modalities that involve different techniques, such as Swedish massage and reflexology.

As a nutritionist or dietitian, you could plan nutritional programs for people seeking lifestyle changes. Yoga instructors help others achieve peace of mind and strength through movement and controlled breathing.

What Education Do I Need?

Some holistic healing careers require a college degree, while others may require certifications and training that take less time to obtain. For example, nutritionists and dietitians usually need at least a bachelor's degree in nutrition, dietetics or a related area in order to practice. These professionals also need to obtain either certification or licensure in most states. If you're an aspiring acupuncturist, you'll usually need to earn a master's degree and state licensure.

Many states require licensure for practicing massage therapists. Massage therapy programs usually involve about 500 hours of study and focus on a specific modality. While certification isn't required in order to work as a yoga instructor, you can earn the Registered Yoga Teacher credential through the Yoga Alliance by completing an approved 200-hour training program.

Where Might I Work?

As a holistic healing professional, you might find work in private or integrative clinics, outpatient care facilities and nursing homes. Nutritionists and dietitians can design healthy-eating programs in hospitals or schools. An acupuncturist might find a position in a practice alongside physicians and chiropractors.

Massage therapists and yoga instructors are often self-employed and sometimes travel to their clients' homes. These professionals can also find jobs in health clubs, hotels and resorts. In some cases, holistic health practitioners educate the public on health and wellness topics through seminars and workshops.

What Could I Earn?

Your salary in a holistic healing career would depend on your area of specialty. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), dietitians and nutritionists earned a median salary of $57,910 as of May 2015, and massage therapists earned a median salary of $38,040 per year (www.bls.gov).

The BLS included yoga instructors in the category of fitness trainers and instructors. This group earned a median salary of $36,160 per year as of May 2015. The BLS reports that many of these instructors work part-time and do not receive benefits from their employers.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

With a bachelor's degree, you could also pursue a career as a recreational therapist. These professionals are responsible for planning and directing various recreation-based programs specifically designed for people with disabilities and injuries. These programs could include sports, games, music, arts & crafts, and field trips. Another option is a job as an exercise physiologist, which requires a bachelor's degree. As an exercise physiologist, you will work with individuals who are recovering from illnesses and injuries and designs programs to help them regain body movements and reduce pain.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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